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Jennifer Zouak JENNIFER · ZOUAK's · BizTalk · and · .NET · column

I was trying to sovle a sticky problem involving someone else's assemblies but not getting very far -- I needed more information such as line numbers. Usually when you invoke a .NET assembly from BizTalk you need to put it in the GAC and this means you are deprived of the symbols (PDB) which would normally sit beside the assembly in the file system. 

There are some good posts out there but they seem to relate to .Net 1.0 so they didn't quite work. Here's what you do:

You can copy the PDB files directly into the GAC, but you must browse to the underlying folder structure. This depends upon the processor architecture you are compiling, usually "msil". To do this, you need to type the full path into your "Run" command prompt or address bar. Trying to browse to this will fail. Trying to type this path when you have the GAC open will fail.

%systemroot%\windows\assembly\gac_msil

Once there, you will see your assembly as a folder, open it and you will see the versions as folders, open that and you have the actual DLL. You can view Details and see the size, modified time, etc. This is super helpful when I find myself at a client and I am wondering what version/build of the DLL they are running. (What no-one updates the strong name version? no--oh way!)

Now copy the matching PDB file into this folder, cycle any BizTalk or IIS instances and you now have debugging info.

Thanks go out to : former colleague Colin Bowren http://geekswithblogs.net/colinbo/archive/2006/03/23/73200.aspx

update --  This works also for BizTalk assemblies. First you must compile them to "Development" mode, not the default which is "Deployment". Also keep in mind that to update the DLL , you must still drag-drop onto the %systemroot%\windows\assembly folder -- and when you do this, or re-install into BizTalk, the PDB is blown away so you must recopy it.

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:10 AM BizTalk , .Net | Back to top


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